Leon County declared first #HurricaneStrong community in the nation

Posted at 7:15 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 21:07:19-04

ORLANDO, Fla. (WTXL) - Leon County was designated as the first #HurricaneStrong community in the nation by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and others. 

With this national designation, Leon County becomes the nationwide prototype for disaster resilience and will continue to collaborate with FLASH throughout the 2018 hurricane season to advance resilience by establishing criteria for other local governments. 

“This is big. It is a reflection of the tremendous emphasis we have placed on one of our most important responsibilities,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox. “Keeping our citizens safe and informed in the event of a hurricane and getting our community back to normal as quickly as possible afterwards has always been a top priority.” 

#HurricaneStrong began as a public outreach campaign in 2016 and has drawn tens of thousands of leaders and citizens to events and reached millions more through traditional news and social media outreach.

Through the campaign, FLASH reinforces five specific messages for citizens: personal safety, financial security, family preparedness, damage prevention, and community service.

Now in 2018, FLASH brings together representatives from academia, big data organizations, broadcast meteorology, FEMA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration insurance companies, and so many more, to declare Leon County as a model community to help establish a road map to becoming a disaster resilient community. 

"For Leon County, being the first #HurricaneStrong community in the nation highlights our focus on learning and improving from disaster, specifically the past two years following Hurricane Hermine and Hurricane Irma," said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. "Every emergency gives us the knowledge and opportunity to build a more resilient community ahead of the next storm. And our County's partnership with FLASH will make us even stronger as we leverage national networks, best practices, and other resources."